& Tuition

Apply to join a select cohort of open-minded and impact-driven young leaders from across the globe.

Our admissions process is designed to identify curious and courageous students who are committed to solving our shared global challenges. Join this changemaking community and together learn from world class speakers, instructors, mentors — and each other.

How to Apply

2021 Fellowship Application Closed

It is with heavy hearts but clear minds that we announce that we are not re-launching our Fellowship in August 2021. We have an active internal committee that will reassess the situation to determine whether it may be feasible to re-launch the Fellowship in January 2022. If you’d like to be notified when we open applications for next year’s program, you can request information here.

1. Online Application

Apply online in just 1-2 hours. No test scores required! Our selective admissions process is designed to get to know you as a whole person, not a number.

2. Interview

The strongest applicants are invited to interview with a staff member or alum. This is your opportunity to share your story and ask questions about the program.

3. Admissions Decision

Within just 2-3 weeks of your interview, you'll receive the admissions decision.

4. Final Review

(1) Select your country: We'll provide a detailed country guide to help you confidently choose your destination.

(2) Apply for financial aid: We offer both merit and need-based aid. For need-based aid, you'll submit your FAFSA or CSS Profile and fill out a short form about your family’s financial situation.

(3) Complete a medical form: Schedule a visit with your doctor to complete a medical form confirming that your health and well-being can be maintained during 8 months abroad.

Become a Fellow

You're in! After we confirm your country, financial aid award, and medical review status, you'll have 2 weeks to send in a $500 deposit and reserve your spot as an official Global Citizen Year Fellow. Let the adventure begin!


Selection Criteria

Our admissions process is designed to select and bring together the most promising young leaders of the new generation - individuals who will inspire change during their gap year and beyond. Coming from diverse backgrounds across the US and the world, what these young leaders have in common is curiosity, grit, and a drive to make an impact. For all the aspiring changemakers and students hungry to take education into their own hands, this year is for you.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

The Eligibility Criteria outline the requirements for Fellows to be reliable, fully committed, and capable of of working hard to achieve the program goals.

By design, Global Citizen Year is a challenging program. Fellows step out of their comfort zones and push past former limits. The health and the well being of our Fellows and staff are of the highest priority at Global Citizen Year.

It is important to recognize that there is, and always will be, a certain degree of risk in the very nature of a Global Citizen Year. Because Fellows live, work, and travel in environments that can be remote, dynamic, and physically or emotionally challenging, we expect Fellows to work with us to maintain good health and well-being. For more details, please see the General Terms & Conditions, the Policy Handbook, or contact us at


Room & board with a vetted and trained host family

Global Citizen Year has cultivated a strong network of outstanding host families abroad. Your tuition includes 8 months room and board (3 meals a day) with one of our trained and vetted host families.

Round-trip international flight

Unlike many gap year programs, Global Citizen Year covers the cost of your round-trip flight from our kick-off training in California to your host country and back.

Medical insurance & evacuation insurance

Global Citizen Year covers your medical and evacuation insurance so that in the unlikely case of an emergency, you will be well taken care of.

On-going leadership training

Tuition includes on-going leadership training throughout your Global Citizen Year.

  • Global Launch: A week-long training at Stanford University featuring world-class speakers from organizations like Kiva, Facebook, and Airbnb.
  • Country Launch: Upon arrival in country, six-weeks of orientation and progressively longer immersions to equip you with the cultural, language, and risk-management skills to deeply and safely immerse.
  • Training Seminars: These 3-4 day trainings punctuate your immersion experience and offer an opportunity to reconnect with the cohort, process, and learn.
  • Re-Entry Training: A week-long training in California bookends your experience and provides a valuable space for reflection, celebration, and connection with the global cohort.

One-on-one coaching and support from our outstanding Team Leaders

Our Team Leaders are trained youth development professionals who live in the host country and support you in engaging with your community and meeting your goals for the year. Team Leaders conduct bi-monthly check-ins and are on-call for support. We maintain an average 10:1 Fellow to Team Leader ratio.

On-going language tutoring

Your tuition includes intensive language training during your first month in country and on-going weekly tutoring sessions for the following 7 months.

In-country transportation to/from trainings

Global Citizen Year covers the transportation costs for Fellows to travel to/from designated locations for trainings in the host country.

SIM card & credit

To ensure Fellows can easily communicate in country, Global Citizen Year provides all Fellows with a SIM card to put in their personal phone, plus emergency phone credit. Based on financial need, Fellows may qualify for a loaner phone.

Tuition does NOT include

  • Transportation between your home and US-based trainings
  • Immunizations
  • Passport & Visa
  • Health insurance while in the US
  • Personal expenses (independent travel, meals out, souvenirs, etc)
  • Early withdrawal or dismissal costs

How is Global Citizen Year monitoring and responding to COVID-19?

Our top priority is to support the well-being of our Fellows and our Fellows and our global community. We recently posted an update with information on how we’re responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Please view our update here.

How much does this cost?

Our full tuition is $32,500, and we offer both merit and need-based scholarships. We are committed to making our program accessible, and historically, about 30% of our class have received a FULL gap year scholarship, and an additional 50% have received partial gap year scholarships. Visit our Tuition & Financial Aid page for more information about merit scholarship opportunities and what is included in tuition.

What about college?

Most colleges are supportive of gap years - not surprising when studies show that gap students get higher GPAs and are more active on campus. Whether you choose to defer your acceptance or to re-apply, our Director of College Admissions Guidance will support you through the process. We're also proud to offer several college partnerships.


1. Complete the Online Application

Apply online in one hour. We select for a well-rounded global cohort that brings a diversity of experiences and perspectives. Strong candidates will demonstrate a curious mindset, a commitment to self-reflection and a strong motivation to make a meaningful impact.

If you are unable to afford the tuition, there’s a check-box on the application where you can indicate that, if accepted, you would like to apply for a need-based scholarship.

2. Receive Admissions Decision within 5 business days

The Admissions Team will carefully review your application and email you an admissions decision within 5 business days of applying. If accepted, you will receive instructions for how to complete your clearance requirements.

Admissions decisions are need-blind; we do not factor financial need into our admissions decision.

3. Complete Clearance Requirements within 2 weeks

You will have two weeks to submit your clearance requirements

  • System Check - to make sure your hardware and internet can effectively support our online learning platform.
  • Financial Aid application (if applicable) - Visit our Scholarships page for more information on our financial aid process and philosophy.
  • English language assessment (if applicable)

4. Receive Welcome Packet

The Admissions Team will carefully review your clearance requirements, and if you meet all the requirements we will email you a Welcome Packet that includes information on whether you’ve been awarded a scholarship.

5. Reserve Your Spot within Two Weeks of Receiving your Welcome Packet

After receiving your Welcome Packet, you will have two weeks for you and your parent or guardian to e-sign the Welcome Packet, submit your $500 deposit, and select your course times.

Due to high demand, we cannot hold your spot in the Academy if we do not receive your signed Welcome Packet and deposit within the allotted two weeks.

6. Join the Academy Student Community

Congrats and welcome to the Academy community! You will now gain access to exclusive Meet & Greets with your new classmates and Academy alumni.


Tuition for Global Citizen Year Academy is $5,000 USD. The tuition amount is inclusive of the $500 deposit. Tuition will be invoiced through Quickbooks and can be paid on-line. For the Fall 2021 semester, tuition is due by August 20th, 2021. We accept the following forms of payment:

  • Cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, and Apple Pay)
  • Bank Transfer

How soon do I hear back after applying?

Our Admissions Team carefully reviews each application and works hard to ensure all students receive their admissions decision within 5 business days of applying.

When are the application deadlines?

Early Deadline: Oct 29
Regular Deadline: Nov 19

How much does the Academy cost?

Tuition for Global Citizen Year Academy is $5,000 USD. This amount includes the $500 deposit.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. We find incredible young leaders from all backgrounds and are proud to award need-based scholarships to qualified applicants who would not otherwise be able to afford our programs. Each semester, we carefully review all incoming financial aid applications, and regularly have more outstanding candidates than scholarships available. Visit our Scholarships page for more information about our financial aid process and philosophy.